Shortly before 3 p.m. Friday, the temperature at Duluth International Airport rose to 91 degrees, beating the previous June 4 record by 1 degree, according to the National Weather Service.

Meanwhile, the cooling effect of Lake Superior was evidenced by an almost simultaneous 68-degree reading at Sky Harbor Airport.

International Falls stood out as the regional hotspot, however, reaching 98 degrees shortly before 3 p.m. The previous record high temperature for the city was 92 degrees.

Ashland, Wisconsin, looked set to match, if not beat, her June 4 record of 92 degrees, falling just 1 degree off the mark at 3 p.m.

“Tomorrow we have another hot day ahead,” said Ketzel Levens, a meteorologist at the Duluth National Weather Service station. She said temperatures on Saturday will likely be as hot, if not warmer, than they were today, with increased humidity potentially adding to the discomfort.

“We’re going to stay under this southerly flow,” Levens said, with strong and continuous southerly to southwest winds bringing more warm air to the area.

She said thunderstorm systems are likely to develop on Saturday and Sunday evening.

The surface water temperatures of Lake Superior also rise in the range of 55 to 57 degrees. But Levens said strong southerly winds could push this warming water away from the shore, bringing in cooler water from below.

Some of the looming storms this weekend could be severe, Levens said.

“We have a lot of fuel for them with this heat and then an increase in humidity coming tomorrow,” she said.

Saturday night’s storm is shaping up to be the most intense in the north, affecting border communities and the Iron Range, with Duluth likely on the outskirts, Levens said.

But Sunday’s storm system will likely encompass all of northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, she said.

“There is definitely a potential for more severe storms,” Levens said.

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